Those are police officers, not insects!
When six Chico police officers entered the Northern Star Mills building on The Esplanade Sunday night to investigate a possible burglary, they knew right away something was wrong. They found no burglar. Instead, they ran into a dose of poison.

Within 30 seconds of entering the building, the officers started feeling sick, said Lt. John Carillo, with “burning eyes and respiratory problems.”

“They realized pretty quickly that there was something in there that was very harmful,” he added.

A resident near Northern Star Mills on The Esplanade reported seeing someone inside the darkened building with a flashlight at about 10 p.m., said Carillo.

Turns out the feed store was misting with Conquerer, a pesticide that kills insects that would otherwise infest the grains the business sells.

All of the officers were treated for respiratory problems at Enloe Medical Center, and one of them was held overnight for observation. They all have the next few days off to rest.

If there was a burglar in the building, Carillo noted, he or she was exposed to the pesticides, too.

Recent Chico State grad dies of brain cancer
Gregory Patrick Walsh, who this spring received a master’s degree in biological sciences from Chico State University, died July 11 of brain cancer.

Walsh, 29, earned his undergraduate degree in wildlife biology from Humboldt State University in 1995. Although he had been battling cancer for more than three years, university officials said that he kept up with his course work even through intensive treatment therapies.

Walsh, the university reported, loved nature and backpacking, snowboarding and cycling. The university plans to lower the flag in his memory today (July 19).

Peeping Toms proliferate
It’s summertime, and Chico’s peeping Toms are out in full force, said Chico police Sgt. Dave Barrow. He said that the number of calls reporting peepers or prowlers has increased dramatically in recent weeks—a trend that is now expected each year.

He said the department had been receiving a slew of peeping and prowling calls in the east streets area, near downtown—especially near Cypress and Pine streets. Police arrested a Redding man last week who they believe was responsible for many of those calls, he said, and calls in that area have started to decrease. However, there’s been a new hot spot in recent nights—the south-of-campus area that’s home to so many Chico State students.

"When it gets hot, there’s just more people out on the street," he said. "And more people with their windows open for people to look through. … People hear more outside when their windows are open … so they call us."